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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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My mother told me that the 1st word which I spoke was neither mom nor dad but it was CAT. It was surprising for them as well as for me but I realized its importance & relevance when I completed my ISC with flying colures. I was a bright n merituous student and could hv been part of the IITs but destiny had something else in store fr me. My father expired wen I was studying in class 8 and my elder sister was on the verge of her ICSE. We had two options either to pack up our bags and start leaving with our maternal uncles (since my father was the only son and my grandparents hv died long time bck) or face the brutality of life by our own. My IDOL, my mother chose the second path n hence I realized fr the 1st time that life is nt a bed of roses. My hectic schedule started frm then. I had 2 work in our small shop from 7.45 am to 10.30 n run fr my school wich stared at 11.15 and come bck n do the work agn. I dint understand the meaning of Sunday thn coz it was my routine fr all seven days. But I nvr gt jealous with any of my frends who were njoying life. N fr the records I dint evn mentioned my routine to ny1 bck in school. I was very good at debates, quizzes, extempores n dramas but I evn being the best in the school team I cudnt participate coz most of the inter school events were scheduled on Saturdays mornings wich was impossible fr me to attend. But anyways life went on I completed my ICSE with 90.4% and ISC with 86%. I was eager to do engineering but cudnt do it coz of my work commitments. I had an elder sister wich needed to b married and being a maru had to attend the social gatherigs as a represeentativ of my family. Being in cal I had only 1 option wich suited me that was doing my BBA coz it classes started frm 1.30 n ended at 7.30. so I decided to go fr it coz I was fascinated towards 3 letters IIM & MBA. I workd hard coz I knew my limitations n my commitments. I had many a responsibility 2 fulfill n I cudnt mangage the luxurious life wich my frends dealt. So it was tim fr some sacrifices. I was very good at playing cricket & could bowl really quick n the only time I played was on national holidays. My other interest was watching TV so I decided to QUIT both of them. Its been more than 1000 odd days since I watched TV instead I used that time reading rcs and yes browsing pagalguy. I 1st appeared fr CAT 2006 without much of preps. The bba project deadlines n my small business commitments burnt me mentally . I still remember that I cudnt analyse a single mock that I took but still managed a decent 90 %ile with 80 odd in all sections. I knew it was a poor shw but my source of inspiration was the dream team n the six magical letters BLACKI I feel so proud of all u guys that I cant write my actual emotions. But I wanted to achieve the same fr myself. I knew I was asking too much coz my business n family commitments dint gv me much time to prepare . but at that time wen I was very demotivated 1 of my sweetest frend told me that I shud always say try me god instead of y me. That boosted my confidence n I started giving time mock on Saturdays coz I had my work on Sunday mornngs. I was fairing well but nvr did I ranked in top 250. in the mean time my sister gt married to a decent family and I m thankful to god fr this. I was back with serious prep in the month of September. I started solving lot of lr frm arun sharma n onlne puzzles. It worked wonders fr me I was consisitently gtting 99+%ile. But my weak area was still verbal/rc so I make it a habit to browse wikipaedia fr unknwn topics n analyse that. It started working I was gaining confidence n was clearing all 3 cutoffs. But suddenly in the month of October something happened (cant disclose that) wich shattered my dreams. I realized I cudnt go outside cal fr my MBA . I had to stdy in a college in cal n leave alongside my mom n continue looking after my business. I cried a lot but again those words not y me but try me make me calm. I gv cat 2007 knowing that the only option in Kolkata fr me is IISWBM wich requires around 85%ile but I gv my best shot . I had taken forms fr few examinations so I hv to gv them like SNAP, XAT & CAT. I performed decently. But puys 1 thing is fr sure my battle is nt over. I will come bck 1ce I gt settled in my life. I am fascinated towards IIM n BLACKI n I want those letters to sign under my signature.Yes fr the recordsCAT 2007 97%ile with 99.99 in DIXAT 2008 - 96%ile with 99.88 in quantsSNAP 2007- 72.5Sorry puys if wtever I hv written is spam in ny ways thn prem bhai can delete it

Season 2007 started in a haphazard way. Was not exactly sure about going for CAT again, GMAT seemed a more reliable option for quite some time. In fact, I was considering some overseas exposure (I had shied away from those previously, for CAT prep), to build my profile. Fortunately, plans didn't materialize. And as usual, I couldn't stay away once the mocks started. I won't go into the description of the mocks etc, but I will certainly go into the changes from previous years -
  1. CAT2006 was the biggest learning, and started with that this time. Knew mocks mean nothing, and maybe was a bit pessimistic about the whole thing too. I remember Basil reprimanding me in the forum once for my pessimistic attitude 2wards CAT & everything related. He had every right to do so, indeed I was pessimistic at that point of time. But that also meant that I was never really complacent.
  2. Did not start serious preparation till end of August. Not that serious prep meant giving 4 hrs daily, for me it was like solving 3 papers weekly instead of 1 paper that I used to do till August. This helped me in staying fresh at later stages.
  3. Analyzed the papers properly. I used to do that very perfunctorily before. I used to Just go through the questions once, and solve anything that I could solve myself (in addition to the ones I had solved during the actual exam). Never tried to learn new things, from solutions or through the peer group. I changed that this time, was prepared to put in the hard work. It results in minor improvements in absolute terms, but those minor improvements can result in a difference of 1 percentile - from 98.5 to 99.5.
  4. The Most Important Factor, built a network. Everything was through pg (and to some extent, TIME forum). The change was more in my attitude. This year, I looked at group preparation too, instead of just prep by myself. Few happenings helped -

    1. Starting the year with Prem. His enthusiasm and network was extremely important.
    2. Getting good scores in initial mocks gave me a good visibility in TIME forum. Used to get plenty of friend Requests and got to know a lot many people. Most of times, it was about helping others with my experience. But that in itself meant that I was always in touch. In addition, I discovered some gems in my friend list. Prashant, Vivek (vivekvarendra) and some others. The competition, the urge to stay competitive even in mocks helped me in coming out of my comfort zone.
    3. Getting in touch with Nitin. Again, Prem was the important factor here. It has been more than a month since my last day in IBM and I don't really miss anything, except the balcony from where I used to have those 3 way phone calls. Here was 1 guy, quite a bit like me (in terms of CAT only, I am far superior in some other matters ;)). Not exceptionally talented (Well, better than me, but not exceptional :)), but with A no nonsense approach towards preparation and ready to put in the hard work (in spite of being extremely lazy otherwise ). Also, we were perfect complements for each other - his strength being DI & mine VA. No prize for guessing our weak areas - VA for him & DI for me. What it meant - we kept pushing , trying to beat each other in mocks but also helping each other in staying extremely competitive. As par our own analysis about our telephonic discussions, 90% of the time we talked crap, but the remaining 10% time proved invaluable in the end.
    4. My frequent trips to Bangalore, getting in touch with some of the best friends I could ever get - Spammy, Mac.
    5. Being selected for DT. I still believe that selection had more to do with my friendship with Prem (Knowing a candidate individually will always influence a selector), rather than my mock scores :). But being in the team helped in two counts

      1. I didn't think I was worthy of Dream Team, but once selected, I wanted to make Prem proud of his selection. It was an added motivation.
      2. Got in touch with JLT, Basil (Prashant was my buddy already). Two absolute Gods when we talk about cracking mocks. Not to mention that other DT members were equally superb, but these two guys took the cake according to me. Having them in my friend list helped me a lot, even through trivial discussions.

So, thus went the whole preparation season. I did better this time, much more consistent in mocks. Kept some targets for myself, and met those pretty much. A mock season where My score was less than 98%ile in only 1 AIMCAT, with 10 99%ile+ scores. It's still not close to Gods, but it gave me the belief that even on my bad day I could ace CAT and get some calls. That's the thing I kept telling myself on 18th November, 2007.
Initial things went pretty smoothly. The paper structure didn't change, and I was not complaining for sure. Had a tried and tested strategy for that pattern, and went with that only (Caution, what I am going to describe now, is a highly dangerous strategy. I knew that myself, so made sure that I tested it many times before applying on the all important day. ) What I had learnt from the mock season was that I wasted most time in the starting section (Initial jitters, getting some quick attempts is the cure) and the last 20 minutes (tension creeping in). The best way to handle this - Doing my strong section in 2 parts, one in the beginning and one in the end. I did just that, broke English in VA & RC - VA for initial 15-20 minutes, RC for last 20-25 minutes. I never needed more than 45 minutes in English section, so this was ideal. It's a different thing that most of the times I ended up giving around 30 minutes for English, but that again was a blessing as I got used to completing English in 30 minutes. So, with this strategy I started CAT 2007 -
Completed VA in 20 minutes, liked it More than CAT 2006 VA for sure. Was sure abt a few answers, which I was not in 2006.
Moved on to DI. I remembered the trauma of 2006, so was cautious but moved quickly too. After some hiccups, settled in a good rhythm. Then found the incorrect question in the easiest set, but experience of CAT 2006 helped. I knew CAT may not be error free, and banked on my abilities more. A neat effort, with 16 attempts in 55 minutes.
QA then. I was on track till now, more so having removed the headache of DI well. Little did I know what was awaiting me in QA. Started pretty well here too, solving some 4-5 qsns in pretty good time. Then, got STUCK. Couldn't solve anything for 2-3 pages. Somehow reached 9 questions at the end of stipulated 55 minutes. Now, this was dangerous. I knew this QA was much tougher than CAT 2006 QA, but still only 9 questions was a bit too little. Lost my way, kept trying for 1-2 more questions instead of going into RC. As I write this, I can still feel that tension, that feeling of emptiness, the fear of everything coming to naught again. I knew I shd move into RC, but I couldn't. 10 minutes I wasted in QA, without a single attempt (in fact, I marked 2 qsns, only 2 erase again as I was not totally sure. As it turns out to be in those cases, both were correct answers). So, at the end of 65 minutes of QA, 9 attempts. Moreover, only 10 minutes left for 4 RCs. I knew my plan of completing all 25 in English was out of question. It was a matter of damage control and doing whatever I could in RC.
10 minutes for all those very dense RCs. Thankfully, I was used to this (Mock season again). Just targeted 2 RCs, 5 minutes each. Did them and came out. Dejected.
CAT 2007 was over, and I was sure about another failure, due to QA. Even 1 mistake there would result in cut-off related problems. Had a chat with Nitin, 13 attempts in QA. Prem, 11 attempts, but not sure about most. Now, datz when I started feeling that it was really tough. A QA instructor feeling it to be tough, and I knew Prem's capability in QA very well. Still, couldn't feel good, took a cab and went for lunch with my gf. Some calls from friends and family about expectations etc - I was simply not interested. Was afraid to check the QA answers with others too. Finally, in the evening, gathered enough courage to discuss some answers with Nitin. Encouraging they were - I was getting most a good accuracy in DI and more importantly, 5/5 in QA till then. Gathered some more courage, and matched my answers with 2-3 friends. Interesting findings - 9/9 correct in QA when cut-off was expected to be as low as 19-20. I give a damn to predictions, but I knew 36 would be enough for any cut-off in that QA. DI was not bad either. Rushed back home to check answers. Only IMS was out, Prashant relayed the options to me over the phone (couldn't login myself for some internet issues). The expected result was something way above my expectations - 9/9 in QA (36), 15/16 in DI (59) and 12/19 in English (41). I was getting a total of 136 at that point of time, comfortably clearing all cut-offs.
Drama was not to end that easily of course. The great CAT English drama unfolded again, and took all of us for a ride again. Nothing, absolutely nothing was sure. I was sure of getting a good overall, but everything depended on English keys of IIMs. A wait of 49 days, seemed like eternity then. Finally, 8th January 2008. After 3 blank SMSs, I got this - QA - 97.2, DI - 99.37, VA - 98.53. I knew already, what would be there in the 2nd SMS regarding overall score, I was ecstatic already. A 99.73 overall made sure I stayed that way only. later on, came to know that I had still missed IIMB, due to my acads for sure. I LACK B were my calls.
I need more than 1 post for the remaining story, the story after CAT results. Please follow it in the link below
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Enter 2006, the year that will change quite a few things. There were personal problems (Yes, related to CAT in a big way) that caught me unaware and shattered for some time. I couldn't think of it even in a nightmare, but that actually happened. All these things happened while I was still recovering from the pain of failing to convert my IIML call and trying to regather myself for another season ahead. This was an important time, an d I must say the beginning was not as I wanted.
This time I didn't go for full-time anymore, it was test series only (from TIME & CL). AIMCATs started, and it was a kick start. From 2nd mock onwards, I started to get Top 100 ranks (Never happened in years before). This continued for 5-6 mocks, may not be Top 100 always, but was getting 99+ pretty regularly. The scene was even better in CL, where I started topping my City regularly. I was happy, things started getting better in personal front also. And the focus moved away from preps. Problem was that I was getting good scores not only due to my English. My QA and DI scores also improved. This was my target, and it was achieved. I didn't realize my folly then, that Success doesn't come without strong ground work. Just went with the flow. Kept getting prizes from CL for topping the city (they were giving it to the Top 3, and I was 2nd most of the times. Reaching top was not possible since there was a certain Mehul Agarwal in my city ). This seriously hampered my preparation, all due to my own complacency. I ignored the fact that my AIRs came down a lot in AIMCATs, that there was a certain chink in armour in name of DI. It was like playing a series of ODIs, where I could erase one bad performance by a series of good performances (on different wickets though). I asked the question to myself, what am I really doing for preparation? Reply was "Close to nothing, other than solving 3 papers a week". But good mock scores made me think that is the correct way. Result, the problem with DI took a bad shape by the time I reached the last few AIMCATs. I was no longer able to ignore it totally, but there was little time left. Devised a strategy of playing it safe in DI and hitting the other two sections out of the park. This would seal my fate on 19th Nov, 2006. Alas, i didn't realize then..
19th Nov, 2006. Reached the exam hall as planned. Made it a point not to feel tensed. Kept repeating to myself the mock performances throughout the year. In the event, became over-confident may be. I won't say I was over-confident really, but it was a state of trance kind of thing. A certain amount of nervous energy actually helps in CAT (for that matter, in anything). I had voluntarily got rid of that. Saw the paper, a totally new pattern. Of course, not that surprised. My job was to solve questions, not worrying about the pattern. Went according to planned order - QA-DI-VA. QA was pretty ok. was feeling better by the time I moved to DI, but at the same time I was a bit confused. Never saw such an easy QA section in CAT before, and it puzzled me. Judging approximate cut-offs is a very important ability as far as CAT is concerned. I was not being able to. do that There were so many new things after all - 2.5 hr paper, 5 options and above all, so few and so easy questions. Also, I had overshot my time limit by 5-7 minutes in QA (Reasons well known across India, the Raja-Praja questions hurt me). Anyways, moved on to DI. As already mentioned, I was defensive here. Got hold of 2 sets. Completed those, felt good. Felt I was comfortably clearing the cut-off now . Did 1 question from the share waala set, but couldn't do the other questions in that set (didn't waste time, I wanted to solve at least 1 more set). I had 5 minutes in hand. Went to the roads (Network) waala set. Solved the 1st question, but got stuck between two options. Both seemed correct and I couldn't eliminate 1. Kept on trying, as I had to solve it. Couldn't move onto the other questions in the set either, since I felt I must be missing something. result, 7-8 minutes of effort, wasted. Moved to English, with 45 minutes in hand. within 5 minutes, knew what had stuck me. My strongest section, and I couldn't make head & tail of it. Tried gamely, did some 17 questions in the end. Was not sure about anything..
Not going into details of Prediction etc, Everyone knows what happened. I knew my fate was almost sealed, whatever be the prediction from Coaching institutes. Reason - so many people, who used to be 3 percentile points below me in mocks, were scoring more than me. Only a miracle could save me. I also knew that the Raja-Praja questions were actually wrong (It was a double whammy for me actually. Naturally, I tried to solve the questions backwards, from the options. The second question was such that it could be solved from options and once that was done, first question was a no-brainer. Problem - that second question didn't have the correct option present.) and more importantly, the DI question was not solvable. Results would prove how much those things hurt me, specially the DI question as it lead to a loss of at least 12 marks.
Results - Didn't expect anything, didn't get anything. It was still a shocker though. I never thought my score could come down to that level - 97.16 with 82.84 in DI. And IIM solution had both options 2/3 as correct answer for that DI question. That was where the game was over.. Hail IIMs.
Whatever the results be, this was a great season in pg. Got to know so many new people, so many inspiring people. There were two guys specially - Arun unkil and Prem. Two guys who showed what never say die attitude means. This season was different in all aspects. The DT couldn't perform according to expectation, largely due to VA. So many of sure shot call getters bit the dust. Best part was, most of them stood up again to fight back. We can see the results today. Well done Adi, Basilsk, Mantri, God2Be and above all Harshad. His was a different kind of heart-break, one which hurts much more. To be able to fight back from that - I Salute you buddy.
I salute the spirit of pg itself. This forum was my main source of inspiration in those days. Went away from CAT completely, thought a dream has ended. But the desire was still burning, and two things came to my rescue. Someone told me - Most of the times people end up as failure because they don't know how close they are to Success. This person stood by me when no one else believed I could do it. If personal problems had me in disarray at the start of 2006 season, it was being in peace with my life that helped me in season 2007. Second effect was pg, not any person in particular, it was an overall effect. Season 2007 would be totally different from the other seasons in terms of group preparation, I would come in touch with so many great minds. But all these will come later. For the moment, the learning from CAT2006 -
1. Never place too much emphasis on mock scores. One starts from zero on CAT day, and only strong fundamentals help then, not previous scores.
2. CAT is not sacrosanct. Trust your own instinct. If a question seems wrong after careful observation, leave it then & there. Chances are very bright that it will turn out to be incorrect question indeed.
Season 2007, coming soon...

Took a break for 2-3 months, needed to recharge my batteries for the long battle ahead. Thought I would join for Test Series only (Which should be the case if one has gone through 1 year of full-time course). But something happened in June, the day after my final semester exams had finished. TIME conducted a scholarship test, where the topper would get 100% discount on full course. Wrote it for fun. And 2 days later, called up TIME office to be informed that I was the person who had topped - 100% discount . So, got enrolled again. Didn't attend classes though. Just took the new set of materials (Again, no change in that). Brushed up basics, and waited for Mocks.

AIMCATs started, and to my surprise I found it tough to get into the Toppers' List. Got 95%ile+ almost always, but rarely could break into 98+ with all cut-offs cleared. It was a lesson, which I didn't realise then. It was a lesson that one needs to upgrade always, ambition is the key. I had set myself a target of getting into the toppers' List only, not higher. I realised this when I started to visit pg more often. Found People like Anupam, Vinz, Aarav, Shrutz, ConvolutedSignal, Tp, Shreekanthk, Govi (just to mention the names I remember at one go, there were so many), who wanted to move up, higher and higher always. I still remember feeling extremely angry at Govi's post after 1 mock where he got a rank of 230 odd. Initial thought was - "Why the hell do these guys scare others? 230odd is a damn good rank ( it actually is, but there was something more to it that I would realize later)". I mean, I would have jumped in joy if I got such a rank. But the inspiration came in some other way. Regular visits to the forums meant I saw those scores regularly. The competitor in me urged me to match those as much as possible. Good thing was that I was always aware of the situation that pg is the place where India's best post. So, wasn't unduly worried ever, but as mentioned the urge pushed me on to improve myself. Toppers' List entry became more frequent and I was feeling more confident. CAT 2005 was nearby. I was not ready completely, but wasn't out of sorts either. One big thing that went in my favour (I didn't feel so then, of course) was that my joining date was pretty late. People started getting joining dates from August, but mine was in November (3rd Nov). Had nothing to do after final exams, so put in some effort then. This period is the most significant one in my CAT sojourn, a time when I actually put my head down and did the ground work.

Nov 20, 2005. The day had arrived and so had I, at the centre that is ... Couldn't study that much for teh last few days (what with having just joined my first job). But was moderately confident. And, was not desparate. Throughout this period, I never felt that this CAT would be my last chance. Again, it was like if I don't do well, I will come back strongly next year. Of course I wanted it to happen that year itself, but the other options eased the pressure a bit..

Got the paper, CAT had changed colours again. Expected it though, so wasn't unduly perturbed. But of course, my normal strategy of attempting more 1 markers went for a toss. Anyways, went on with normal time allocation and did whatever I could do. I found all 3 sections pretty tough, especially English. Not that I did great in QA & DI, but was confident about clearing the cut-offs and that's what my target was. Problem was, I didn't feel well about English, where I had to maximise.

QA - 15
DI - 17
English - 41

Checked the keys in evening. Was more controlled this time, didn't check jsut any other key. Waited for the big ones to come out. Scores from keys - QA 13.67, DI 14.33, English 17/22.67. Welcome to the world of ambiguous VA ;-).

Predictions -
TIME- 1/2calls, IMS - 3-5 calls. Analysis in pg (That epic therad for CAT 2005 discussions) suggested TIME was more correct. We were pretty sure about 99%ile being in the range of 47-50 score. Well, one incident happened during this period. A certain person with pg id AnupamWilReturn bid farewel to pg, well for a few days only. :smile: He got at least 500 PMs and messages and mails and calls. Overhelming for any mortal. This guy was getting a score of 47 odd according to keys and with good break-up. I was a silent visitor mostly, checked almost every post but posted very rarely. All along I felt for him, not only for his post, what made me feel for him was that I knew how much this guy deserved a place in IIMs. The usual suspects did well as expected, and there was the surprise package - desiguru aka dg:smile:. Convolutedsignal was a bit worried about his girlfriend scoring more than him;-), and shrutz had cracked it really big. Aarav missed out and of all things in QA. I still don't know what happened to Tp. Why am I writing these in my CAT story? Because these have shaped my journey, there has been effect - the pg effect. I can't describe how, but I could see the effects in my approach later and I assure the effects will be there for every puy. Pre-requisite - Love CAT. Yes, by this time CAT was my second girlfriend.

Results - This is the year when IIMs came out with calls before the scorecard. 2nd January it was. I was in my training in CTS (Guess what, my aunt is also in CTS and she was taking the class ).

C came first, at midnight. I checked in morning only - First Sorry message.

A - Sorry

Others did not come out in the 1st half. In second half, training classes was in a room without net access. OMG.. Came out once during the class, called up a frnd. All were out. He checked my results for B,I,K. ALL SORRIES..

So, that's it then. A single call. More disappointment followed. Score Card came 4 days later. I had got 98.73 with break-up of - DI 96.47, QA 96.43, English 95.05. A single call with such a break-up. On top of that, L announced GD/PI slots. Mine was on 6th Feb, exactly 1 months later. Here I was, without any knowledge about GD/PI, and without the option of taking leaves from office (Training), with a GD/PI date which was earliest among all IIMs. In fact, IIML was the 1st to start interviews all over India and first date was 5th feb. 2nd day, 2nd show for me..;-)

In between, one big thing happened. That certain guy with id AnupamWillReturn got calls from a few IIMs (6 to be precise), with a score of 99.18 (Final score 48.33, if I remember correctly). I had posted at that time, I want to reiterate today - I was never so happy for someone else (and I haven't seen him ever, haven't talked with him either). Vinz, Shrutz, Convo almost everyone did well. Aarav got into XL. It was a happy ending. With most getting what they deserve and others taking the defeat sportingly, with a vow to fight back (me included, didn't expect much from the single call. MDI was not important, I had to go to an IIM).

GD/PI - Prepared as much as I could in 1 month. Improved a lot in GDs (something which is helping me today). But didn't have many points to impress the panel to take me. A non-IIT fresher (2 months exp is nothing), less than 99%ile with little extra-currics. I never stood a chance may be. Did okay on the interview date, but it was simply not to be..

So, It was CAT2006 for me. But CAT2005 had taught me quite a few things.

1. I needed to aim higher,
2. Proper work bears fruit. I needed to analyze mock papers more dilligently,
3. My dependence upon English had to be decreased. English can't be a strong section for anybody (as scores of people would come to know next year). CAT2006 VA was where the explosion took place, but indications were there in CAT2005 itself.

To Be Continued.....



This thread has been a source of inspiration for me, whenever I felt down. Today, this thread helped me in coming back to ground. When success comes after a long and sustained effort, after multiple failures, that success tastes the sweetest. But at the same time, it's important not to forget the failures and the learnings from those. I always believed in this, but somehow the euphoria of CAT 2007 posed a threat to that. I was too much over the moon, and again this thread comes to my rescue today. Thanks getintoiimb for that post. Ahh No, a simple thanks will not do, I should give something back here.

4 years it took me to crack CAT the way I wanted to. I have seen quite a few things - doing unexpectedly well without much preparation (2004), doing reasonably well with good preparation (2005), failing miserably when everyone expected me to crack CAT like anything (2006) and of course, coming good finally when even my closest friends thought I couldn't do it anymore (2007). The month of November has been special since 2004, the dates being 21st, 20th, 19th and 18th. It's been a long journey no doubt, but only today, when I look back. It never seemed too long when I was still a traveller. I think that is the key, to enjoy the journey, to keep the faith. Yesterday in my GD/PI class, the instructor told me how much he wanted to see me through, that he couldn't bear to see me fail anymore, inspite of so much effort. It sounded odd to me, I never felt any need for compassion or anything. I was fighting my own fight and always believed in myself. And that belief will be my biggest asset even in the next stage.

Enough of gyan, it's time to relive the journey. It's time to make 1 of the 2 most coveted posts in pg (The other one, I can do only after I convert at least 1 call).

The journey started in late 2003 (Yes, after the cancelled CAT but I didn't know it then). Didn't have any idea about what it takes to get into an IIM, and of course didn't have an inkling of the fact that I had it in me to make it to the top 1% of the huge number of applicants. It was more about helping me prepare for the Aptitude papers of the placement season. Decision to join TIME was based purely on Low Cost factor, TIME was nowhere near the size they are today (Around 8000 students wrote AIMCATs at that point of time). The preparation started, we had a group of 3 friends preparing together. It was nothing like structured preparation though, was jsut grappling through trying to get an idea about what CAT really is. DI was a nightmare initially, QA was just managable. I had a huge plus though, my English was always good. It was a marked difference from the other engineers in my group who were generally more comfortable with maths, as expected. Anyways, time moved on, CAT was never the first priority. I needed a job first. Got that in my second interview (still in my 3rd year). CAT prep had more or less served the purpose, I knew very few people could beat me in aptitude tests of companies. As usual, CAT didn't matter after getting the job. Missed the 1st AIMCAT (One of the 2 I have missed in my 4 years of prep). Started writing AIMCATs from the 2nd one, again more to do with the attitude of I should write the tests since I have paid for those. Started with percentiles hovering around 80. But yes, I didn't feel all at sea. What helped more was that my friends were giving it a go. Those 2 were toppers in my college, and I could never beat them in Engineering exams. It gave me a huge boost when I could beat them for the first time (5th Mock). Told to myself - Okay, so I can actually do better than these guys in some field at least, lets try a bit harder then to maintain this. As the season progressed, percentiles moved up into 90s pretty easily. I never analysed the papers. It was all about the scores, after that just throw away. Never ever felt I could make it to an IIM actually. 15 mocks passed, we were nearing the D-Day. Then came the biggest boost, a kind of self-realisation. After the 16th Mock (AIMCAT series had 18 mocks then), all 3 of us got calls from the TIME office. The directors, Rahul Reddy and ARKS (now director TIME Mumbai, he was in Kolkata then, and someone I will always be grateful to for letting me know of my own potential) wanted to have a chat with us. There, for the first time we were told - Boss, u guys are doing well in mocks. Keep up the good work, we expect to see all of you guys in IIMs. IIMs??? OMG, am I really that good? Come on man, lets be serious about it then. Not much time was left, but I tried my best. I needed at least 1 toppers' List performance to get the full confidence. Got it in the very last mock (AIR 325, I remember it till today). Okay, so lets crack CAT now.

Nov 21st, 2004, my first date with my soon to be fiancee. Got the paper and first reaction was "OMG, what is this? This is not CAT, we don't have 150 questions here". Welcome to the ever-changing world of CAT. CAT would never be the same again. Anyways, tried whatever I could do in those 2 hours.
Attempts (Marks) -
QA - 22
VA - 37
DI - 17

Was not sure at all about what had happened. Felt paper was tougher than all previous papers I did (little did I know that this feeling will be there each time). Heard loads of people talking about CAT in the bus, was not interested. I thought I had done well in QA, while DI was the big question mark. English was never a concern as such. That evening, CL came out with keys first. And guess what, I had done wonderfully in Maths . Stupidest of mistakes (eg. root of (3a^2) = 3a ) made sure I got a Godly score in QA (5.33). DI, unexpectedly was better. At least was sure about getting more than 90%ile (Score 12.67). It only got better in English. CL gave me 29, but when TIME keys came out I was getting 33 . An overall of 51, just below the cut-off predicted by TIME, but surely missing QA cut-off. Moreover, the mistakes in QA, I still don't know how I managed to commit so many stupidest of mistakes on the same day (it cost me 8 marks in total, would have taken me well above the 90%ile mark otherwise). Called up my friends, they were getting 56 and 51 respectively. Difference between me and the other guy getting 51 was his break-up, which was pretty good. All 3 of us Went to TIME office next day to meet ARKS and get predictions. Here are those predictions -

56 -> 99.3%ile (Calls from 3 IIMs, including two from among ABC)
51 -> 98.6%ile (I never had a chance of call, but ARKS categorically said that he won't be surprised if the other guy got 1 call).

Depressed, to some extent. But it was more a feeling of having discovered my true potential. I knew what could have happened only if I hadn't made those mistakes in QA. All these without serious preparation as such, I knew I had it in me to crack next time. 1 year wait, so what? I am not losing anything, have a job in hand to look forward to. CAT2005, you will be mine.

Results - The guy with 56 got 99.27%ile with calls from ACL and the other guy with 51 got 98.8 (He actually had 1 mark more than calculated), with a lone call from IIMB. I had got a 98.65 with 65.33%ile in QA ;-). VA - 99.9%ile. I must say I could never imagine someone predicting scores and calls with such accuracy.

The results had another effect. The result leak episode happened, and I got my biggest ally for the remaining journey - It's pg - PaGaLGuY.com - The Everything of MBA, CAT 2007, GMAT, XAT, CAT 2008, SNAP, IIM - Home

To be continued, abhi thora study time... :smile:



And finally i am posting on this thread!!!
before i post my CAT sojourn let me post my profile and my flops this season..

I work with Infy and got 2.3 yrs of work ex..decent acads and extra currics..
wrote CAT 07,XAT 08,IIFT and JMET this season..rejects in all 4..quants has been
my nemesis this season..well my ambition to do an MBA started off in 2003 in
college..The first time i read abt CAT was when the CAT 2003 paper leaked and
there was big news..That was when i knew about IIM's though iknew about XLRI
long time back..It all started off in college and was planning to do an mba
sometime..i come from a middle class family and in 2005 i decided to do an MBA
but lotsa of my friends were preparing for CAT 04..i used to just look at their
mode of preps..i studied near madurai and guys in coll used to go to class for
weekends when i used to play cricket for my district during weekends..days passed
and in 2005 came placements and i was the placement co ordinator for my batch..
almost all the guys got placed in college and i was the loner one who wasnt placed..
it was then i decided to gve CAT 05..after coming back home from graduation i didnt
have a job and i started preparng for CAT 05 with lotsa determination in my mind..
preps started from may end..i just got the books from my frend who made it to an IIM
and started off.i enrolled for the SIMCATS and preparing judiciously..my percentiles
in the SIMCATS never went below 90.i still remember my lowest was 90.34..as my prep
went on my mother asked me to look for a job as a backup..so i was doing 2 things

I got a job with DHL initially for a sales and marketing profile(still wondering how i managed to get this!!)..since i was preparing for CAT i jus wanted to
try for Infosys as well..Infosys test was simple because i was preparing for CAT..I
made it to Infosys as well..so having 2 job offers and a good score in SIMCATS i was confident of making it to the IIM's..i applied only to IIM's and MDI then..just 1 month before CAT disaster struck..my father lost his job!he was the sole earner in the family
and at that stage i got a job from Infosys..CAT 05 was on nov 20th and my Infosys joining date was 21st with 20th as the reporting day,the same dats as CAT 05..Though my father lost his job i was preparing hard with 99+ in the last 2 SIMCATS..1 week before CAT my father fell very sick and he couldnt find a job..we had a lots of loans and debts to be paid,which i am still paying..so i had no other go than to take up the Infosys offer..i had to be at mysore on 20th and i had to give up my CAT dreams because i have a younger brother..so atleast for his education purpose i had to take up the job..I was
totally shattered though i had no other choice..That was the first time in my life that i went into a huge depression(dont want to recall those days)..

I knew i had a chance to make it to the IIM's but my personal life gave me no other option.My passion for CAT and the IIM's just were out of the box..i took time for me to come out of the depression but I had to be more practical than being emotional..Then came 20th november 2005..i boarded the train from central to mysore with a heavy heart..I was travelling in the train and was telling myself
"it's 10.30 now and the CAT exam would have started and im currently travelling in the train"..i was heavily disappointed..people in the train were starring at me and would ahve definitely thought that this guys is nuts!!! I couldnt just think about anything except CAT..i reached mysore and a week later many of my training batchmates were
talking about the CAT paper as i was already depressed..i knew there was no point in
getting into a discussion..days passed by and my dad got a super job offer and settled in
chennai..things started to fall in place..i got posted to chennai and i thought of giving CAT 06..had a chat with a friend of mine who was then in IIM-B..he jus told me
"why dont you give CAT with some 2 yrs of work ex?"..

I thought it was a sensible one and just chucked prep for CAT 06..i wrote CAT 06 though just for the sake of giving CAT and to get the CAT factor inside my mind..days went by and in nov 2006 just one week before CAT i joined PG..i found PG as an MBA forum with the majority of the people having the burning desire and just one desire in their stomachs - IIM's!!!!I wanted to make it to IIM Bangalore as my id says..so i created my PG id getintoiimb...i started to post on PG from then on..after CAT 06 i didnt have any material to prepare for CAT 07..i joined IMS as a full time classroom student..had classes on weekends..my preps started right from december..i think this is one reason for me to fail this season..

i took too much pressure on myself to bell the CAT..i was preparing very hard till may and in june i completely lost focus and ran out fo steam..i was off track and till august i couldnt pull my socks up...i was really tired..in august the SIMCATS started and i was also giving the AIMCATS..my first few AIMCATS were disastrous with the lowest being 54 %tile..i wasnt doing well in quant..then as the D-day was fast approaching i decided to more of quant...concentrated on quant and it helped..my percentile in mocks touched 95
in quant alone..my last 5 TIME AIMCATS were the best..all of them 99.xx..i was high in
confidence..in the mean time my reputation at office was at stake..i was mostly on bench or in projects for a max of 1 month each..i bunked the last 3 weeks before CAT saying typhoid as a reason..everyone in office were taking leave and it was obvious it was
for CAT..during those 3 weeks i was doing only mocks..i was fully geared up for CAT 07..
then came the night before D-Day..i was very tense because i knew i had to crack CAT this time at any cost..i somehow managed to sleep that night for a couple of hours..next day i went to my centre and went to my hall..just told myself "i was waiting for 2 yrs for this and lets maul it"..after i got my paper i had a slight uneasiness after seeing the Quant section..i knew its gonna be tough..started with VA and did lotsa questions in 40 mins..moved onto quant..did a few but got them mostly wrong..did quant for 55 mins..then moved onto DI and did 15 qns in 45 mins..thanks to some super calculation mistakes that i got a miserable 54 percentile in DI(DI was my strenght in the CAT 05 season)!!!!!

i knew it was all over after giving CAT 07 though had the lightest of my hopes alive..
gave IIFT,JMET and XAT but all in vain..quants was my nemesis again..my overall percentile in CAT was 70.37 with only verbal being decent wiht 93.94..quants was 40 %tile and DI 54 %tile..i was dissapointed but i knew it was all over on nov 19th itelf..XAT was similar with QA 45 %tile,VA 75 %tile and LR 95 %tile..I missed IIFT by 1 mark..JMET my VA went for a toss..CAT would have taken a lot of things from me but not 2 things
1.My confidence
my advice to future and current aspirants is please treat CAT as another exam and dont take up too much pressure on yourself and hype the exam like how the media is currently doing..just stay the same as you are..eat,sleep do what you want..dont refrain from working in office like how i did..it add's more pressure to you in both the front's..i am currently undergoing it..but 2 things CAT showed me was
1.who my true friends are
2.just be yourself

inspite of so many flops i just came to know who my true friends are and who still call up and tell me "dude,there is always CAT 08..dont give up..u can do it"..I thank the Chennai PG junta especially for being with me all the time..well after looking at this flopshow ppl might think this might be my last shot at CAT..Certainly not!!!
we have so many guys on this forum who have belled the CAT 3rd or 4th time..seeing them,CAT 08 for me is my 3rd shot..
i would start preparing only by may..i am highly disappointed but life moves on..
i am not changing my PG id because as i look at this id it indicates my failure and i get more motivated to bell the CAT..
This CAT 07 journey has been an enthralling experience and whether i belled the CAT or not i met a group of ppl with the same ambition..i promise to give 100 % for CAT 08 and come back to this thread and post my success story..I may not have cracked the CAT but im happy i got an oppurtunity to meet some of the best brains in the country through PG and i will definitely miss the Chennai PG meets in the future..made loads of friends on PG..I will miss all you Chennai and bangalore puys!!!
ALL THE BEST to all and convert all your calls
and make history!!

P.S : sorry if my journey to CAT was bugging!


Advice to future aspirants (if you consider me worthy to be givin it )

On Mock Tests:

TIME Probably the best for experimenting, but real difficult at times so take a pinch of salt
CL Superb in Verbal and DI way too tough in Quant
IMS Have improved much much more in 2006.
CF Decent, and good morale-boosters.
PT Heard they were just about ok.

I would say any of the above with good analysis of where you went wrong after each mock, and noting out of the box problems would suffice more than enough. Of course, above all this, comes solving all the previous CAT papers, being thoroughly sure of every old problem that has appeared, and also of the concept attached to it.

On indivudual sections:

Verbal My strongest, but didnt help me much when I wanted it to. A good day bad day concept (read my notes elsewhere on PG and on the new Verbal thread for this year). Be inherently good, and crack it. No one day/two day preparation can help you here. Especially when the ambiguity in it is increasing to large extents. Focus more on comprehending stuff watever it may be. Will be very hepful both in Verbal and in RC.

Quant Past CAT papers the best source of information. Besides these come the out of box problems. Try things like TWI and Vedic Mathematics if only you are very confident about them ( I wasnt, hence they didnt work much for me). But TWI is indeed a very useful approach, especially the bottom-up approach (through the alternatives).

DI I am not the person to contact for this section. But what I referred DI A Question A Day on PG, the book on puzzles by George Summers (hardly solved any, but helpful), and of course CAT oriented problems.

On CAT on a whole:

One thing I agree with Munira L on this - the sectional percentiles do matter, but what matters more is the overall percentile. If the overall percentile is low, you are directly out of the race. Though its slowly moving to the stage when the cutoffs wud be sectionally 99/99/99 and overall 99.5. The day is not far when this too will happen..


I attended IMS only so cant comment much on the others. But this is where there is maximum preparation required on the personal front. I could probably do much better here coz of the confidence I had in myself. Make sure you get a hold of the workshops which IMS/TIME/CL conduct they are really decent and a very good practice. I am always reachable on PG for help on this phase of the preparation (might not be a very good contender for the previous phase )

On the personal front:

1: Be sure of where you are now, where you want to be, and how would an MBA bridge the gap between the two. Only then can you jump into the ocean of preparation for these entrances else its useless believe me.

2: Pagalguy.com. Only this site would give you info, reviews, opinions from thousands of people who have made it, and loads of loads of trivia. I dont think I need to say more about how to tackle CAT mentally/physically etc. Believe me, its more a game of the mind than of anything else. As so many others have said, get out of the hype surrounding it, and be a winner :). Most importantly, (its tough but try it) be yourself when the time is cricical around ten to fifteen days countdown to CAT, on the day before, and of course on that day. It will always have surprises, and the aura of the unexpected. Its how you wish to tackle these things, by being prepared and being confident, or by thinking that after all its only an exam . Refer Pagalguy for words of wisdom from Chandoo, PsychoD, Orca, vinz and several other veterans on hundreds of different threads. Since I began on CAT, there has been almost no day when I havent checked PG it has become a part and parcel of my life and will be so too. In the words of Amit Saboo, it is really a goldmine that Allwin discovered 5 years back.

How I believe the CAT should be:

In the current world scenario, I believe that the CAT should have some subjective stuff also, probably an objective screening test, and then a second level test accompanied with essays, SOPs, situational problems etc. This would screen out the real managers from those who make it through plain IQ. Of course following this can be the GD/PIs. The hype surrounding the supposedly 2 lakh aspirants would also be diminished in this case as those who are worthy, and know why they need to pursue a career in management would be differentiated from those who dont.

Signing off for now with a kind of satisfied feeling. The calm mind is yet to see another storm, and even more thunder the next 2 years promise to be two of the most gruelling years of my life and yet the most fun-filled. Looking forward to an even more enriching phase of life now .

Ashish Kolvalker
(Batch of 2007-09)

Absolutely man...after an attempt at it this year, ive realized that it is more of a mind game than anything else. I experienced extreme mood swings in the examination hall, was elated on seeing the DI section and falling flat when trying to attempt the dreaded quant section.

Kudos to your determination dude..rock on in life!!!
Dear all,

I am posting on PG after almost 3 months as I have been busy with my GMAT applications. I hope many puys around would remember me...

Just a bit over one day is left and if puys are still studying...I would say you're delaying the rest your brain deserves...it needs to be fresh for a test that is much more a test of application than knowledge...and to apply well...the cells at top of the body shud get their share of joy n rest...completely my opinion...which may be wrong,,,I recommend taking a break from everything now and doing something that refreshes you...for me, it's watching movies...so I'd be watching 2 movies in coming 24 hours...
Then, let's make sure we get as much sleep as we can...and take the test without stress as the same can only deteriorate the performance. I am sure all of us would agree that lotsa question go unsolved in the mocks but seem a cakewalk at home...reason...there's no stress at home...no pressure to perform...we have nothing to loose...so things seem easy.
Hence, a simple request to everybody...take it as 'just a test'. Life would not end if CAT does not go well...am sure we all have a back up or atleast a back up plan.
As long as I can remember, I wanted to fight for my country. In my interview for induction into Indian Army, after a good 30 minute interview, the officer said, all's well with you, but I would not select you...what would u do? I said (from the bottom of my heart), Sir, If you don't select me, u're at loss...the motif is to serve the nation...and to do that, with due respect, I don't rely on u selecting me...reject me and I'll find an alternate way to serve my motherland.
For next few seconds, nobody in the hall uttered a word...n I was asked to leave. The result...I was one of the top few across all the four defence academies. The idea is, no mishap is big enough to close all the doors....forgive me for using cliche...but it suits here the best..."If there's a will, there's a way".
One of the main reasons why I could succeed in CAT 2005 is that I went with 'the nothing to loose' spirit...I had to join Army and CAT was more of a practice test as I had planned my MBA after spending 5 years in the Army. The very attitude helped me tackle all the surprises CAT had to offer...as I had little practise, and for that reason, no predictions about the pattern.
I remember taking CAT 2005 in a classroom for VII stdd students. A student had pasted few words of wisdom besides the blackboard. In those few minutes sandwitched between taking the seat and receiving the paper, I learnt few important lessons of my life. Would like to share...the poster read...
Every morning when you get up...tell yourself...
Thank you god for showing me this beautiful day...
Today is gonna be a wonderful day...
I have atleast one thing to be happy about today...
I would do atleast one selfless act today...
I can do more than what I think I am capable of...
Remember the last line puys...for the confidents as well as the underconfidents...
"We can do more than what we think we are capable of".....
Two days short of two years since I learnt this lesson, after preferring Indian Army to IIM, and then, unfortunately, leaving Army due to a technical problem, I would again need to perform at CAT...with almost a same state of mind..."nothing to loose"...after a decent GMAT score....CAT would be a bonus...but then...forgive me for repeating..." there's nothing to loose!"
So puys...after all the hardwork 'done' or 'undone', we all have it in us to bell the CAT....
In the process.....do remember....
All the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PS: I would be submitting the same post in many threads....so please forgive me if you get to see it more than once...

Many People write here since they wanted to share their success story and some to give ideas or solutions(the right word) to others.I belong to the second category.

CAT.The three letter word was always a challenge for those who are aspiring to catch the other three letter word(MBA or IIM).I am taking cat for the fourth time in a row and its my last appearance .Its difficult to say that i am taking CAT for the last time.Even i feel crying and some tears on its way from my eyes.Its not easy to think that you are not going to take cat if you have given your 100% shot during the first time.

I am not a class topper or a below average.I am average student who had some back logs in my college degree.IIM ,CAT LOL my parents ,friends were laughing.Backlogs in sixth semester almost two sem papers to be taken in a stretch during the seventh sem and CAT in the middle of sems.Everyone were advising me not to get into CAT and loose my UG degree.But i was prepared hard.I studied nearly 20 hrs a day for both acads and CAT.I gave my 100% shot in acads and failed to prepare CAT in the final month because of the sems.Atlast i reached in and around 89 percentile(not sure its a round figure) and cleared all the sem papers .For the first time in my ug sems i have cleared all the papers and i am one in the all clear list.But deep in my heart CAT was singing its slogan loudly and clearly.

Things went by and i passed my UG degree.Got the offer from one of the software firm.But i want to get into iims .So i dropped it .Prepared seriously,since i had no other work i could put more effort.But the pressure was more to crack it since i was jobless.If i was not going to crack CAT this time(CAT 2005) i will be jobless.The fresher label will be torn off.First few mocks were in around 95-98 percentile but once i reached the month of sept i felt that the job is cushion.And i was attending all these walkins(verizon,TCS etc etc) in which i remained unsuccessful.Pressure mounted .Unable to concentrate on CAT.Atlast i cracked a intreview and got the job as Information security engineer in HCL.One month of training in noida has stopped my preparation.But i took CAT 05 and scored only 60 percentile .

Dont drop your jobs its your cushion always.The pressure mounts and it will be the first hurdle to clear(getting the job) ,which will make you not to concentrate in CAT.

April 2006 i decided to take it once again.Prepared seriously worked quants di verbal every scrap of CAT paper in the office before the seniors .No matter what they thought about me.Scored 95-98 regularly in all the mocks.IIMA released their expected cutoffs for CAT before the D-Day .Which tuned my mind

On D-day when i saw the question paper ,i calculated the expected cutoff to be 100 marks (addition of all the three).Attempted only 35 questions .Screwed royally in verbal and ended with 72 Percentile in verbal and 96+ in both quants and di.

Dont premeditate things about CAT.Finish the task which is given .Results will come automatically.

I felt bad didnt even speak to parents for a week."I lost something big " the only feeling in my heart.Atlast screwed all the exams like JMET,XAT,Symbiosis etc etc.

So please dont think about CAT after taking cat.It could be booster or the destroyer.Concentrate on other exams it will be helpful.

My cat race started once again in april 2007 took the mocks seriously...scored only around 90 to 92 percentile in one or two mocks and even rock bottom 16 percentile or 17 per in some mocks.I got a good offer from a consulting firm .And i was posted as a consultant in ethical hacking.Pressure in the job doomed me didnt even allowed me to concentrate in CAT.Only 4 days more for CAT and this story remains uncompleted.Many journeys which you would have read above would have completed.But this story stands still in the air.

But i wanted to share some things with you

Never get tensed.Life is always there and waiting for you beyond cat.Life is a mountain to climb and cat is one single huge rock.

Many iitians failed to crack cat but got admissions in MIT ,Stan etc etc.Those who failed to crack cat also made their MBA from WBS,HBS,LBS But they have achieved bigger than an IIMian.
Getting into IIM is the first obstacle.I mean the word Obstacle.But the real battle starts only in IIM acads.

Dont premeditate things .CAT should be taken with open mind and heart.

Dont drop your jobs its your cushion always.The pressure mounts if you drop your job and it will be the first hurdle to clear(getting the job) ,which will make you not to concentrate in CAT.

Do the job which your mind wants you to .Developing or counsulting but with your full heart.(i am happy that i am a consultant .I am not an MBA grad )

Fight till the last CAT is all about attitude .Warrior should fight the battle till the last.Be like a aussie team fight untill the last ball is bowled.Remember they fought till the last ball in 99 world cup semifinal and went on to win the cup

Dont allow cat to play with your ego`s.If you do so then you will end up taking cat along with your kids.Find your right skills and give your best shot.

Many positive stories could be there in the ocean .But this is something different




Hats off to Chandoo...

i just discovered this thread...good work Mod Chandoo...

well i believe somewhere down the line we all learned something or the other from here or there in our attempts at CAT..wen i was reading Chandoo's posts in the starting of the thread..i remembered those days wen i was at IMS preparing amongst the best to crack the CAT...for me..i never used to think that my aim was to get 99.9% in CAT...my aim always used to be select the questions i cant answer...and then work on the ones i cud answer...i was never good at maths..stil i am not..but i practised enuf to ensure that i cud attempt mayb 13-14 questions in the quant section...

my folks were always like...spend atleast 2-3hrs in day for CAT...it required that much preparation...well without that that i cud manage 96.8(when i was studying) and 94.33(when i was working)...so maybe if u can spend an hr a day..it might just work wonders...well i was good at the english and DI section...so that made up for my overall percentile...i never got worried with what i scored in my mocks at IMS because i firmly believe that wat matters is how u approach the exam in those 2 hours..

in my first attempt i saw my frnds who had prepared like crazy...done well in mocks...got nowhere above 90% in CAT...probably their state of mind was not wat it shud have been on the D Day...so my mantra then was to give my best when i m there...n i still believe it works...u ve to be prepared for it no doubt..but u dont ve to let anything else matter to u in those 2 hrs...

with 96.8 i did get a call from IIML for their Agri course but then they sent us back from mumbai as we didnt ve the undergrad qualification...i had just gone their to get an experience of IIM gd/pi...ntn more...i thot i shud ve gotten a call from MDI..but i think my quant percentile didnt allow me..i m talkin abt CAT 2004...nevertheless...filled up MICA..got a call...went for the GD/PI...seemed good..but the senior student in the interview panel didnt approve of one of my answers..so didnt get thru...started working...didnt ve time to prepare much...relied on mock papers i had...tested myself on them for 15 days..went for CAT..got 94.33..applied to a few institutes..got a call from BIM...and i m rocking on here...the best part in this attempt was...i didnt ve the time to prepare at all except for those 15 days when i somehow managed to get 2 hrs in a day to finish off one paper a day...tho i did section wise...but i managed to do something abt it..or else probably my percentage wud ve been lower than 94.33...

all in all CAT for me going in for CAT was just about managing my 2 hours in the best way
on that day...just knowing what to leave is more important than what to attempt...wel it maynot hold true for everyone..but it did hold true for me..



@prem...hope this isnt irrevlevant


Kindly refrain from asking questions in this thread...This is the most sacred thread & is just meant for people to know the ways by how people have cracked CAT.....

Success retained me as a boy, but failure(s) made me a man IIM Calcutta - Class of 2012


“The price of getting what you want is having what you once wanted.”

@iim.dude......... If you want to thnx a user, you can use Thanks option on the post.....
Also, when you reply to such a long post, avoid quoting the whole text.

Please get a feel of the forum and look around before opening new threads/post.

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Only thing i like about stone in my path is, when I cross them, they become my milestones! 

At the onset this is the one thread that I always wanted to post on... and no since I am finally in the place I wanted to be I think its more than appropriate to summarise a journey that has taught me a lot of things, got me a lot of new friends, given me a few heartbreaks and finall something I will cherish all my life...

My CAT journey started out in August 2005... had just got over with my 3rd year exams and kinda had wanted to start with what I wanted to do after my engineering... was kinda set on the fact that I wanted to get on with management for my higher education as 4 years in engineering had given me good reasons for the same...

So in August 2005 joined IMS Correspondence course... did kinda really well in the test series... and put in the qork enough to get everything covered up... was offered the crash course by IMS based on my erformances in the SIMCAT... in the end CAT came and the format and everything was a total surprise... was taken back a little by the same... anyways I put in a decent enough show... and was really hopeful about my results... the results came out and was really heart broken to see that I had no got through any of the IIMs... and when the score came later... got to know that I had missed it by just a whisker... had got 98.85... that made it even more clear in my mind what I wanted to do and where I wanted to do my MBA from...

Completed college and joined HSBC Software Development in July 2006... searched around for other instis as wasn't really happy with the effort put in by IMS earlier... this time a friend of mine suggested me TIME... so went and joined TIME for crash course... I suppose it was a necssity in my case as it ensured that at least during the weekends JAVA was out of my head and the I did manage to dedicate a little time to my prep... I had a decent showing in the AIMCATs...

Finally the D Day came... this time around even though the pattern changed I was better prepared for the same...it did not fluster me... had a very decent attempt and when I left the exam hall I was really happy with my attempt... the English section was kind of a lottery... anyways immediately after CAT had a severe bout of Jaundice and then it was back to serious work...

The day the results came was really tensed up and was really happy to see that I had got calls from A,C,L,I,K... was overjoyed... it was at about this time that I got hooked onto PG too... anyways started my GD prep... my interviews all of them except L wnet really well...

Was really exasperated by the delay, due to reservation, in the results though... and finally when the results came I was cloud nine when I came to know that I had converted C... the college I dont know why but I wanted to be in...

And now I am writing this one week after I have joined IIM C... thanks a lot to all of the guys who directly or indirectly through PG have helped me out in one way or the other...


Don't know if this post is going to get a lot of groans like the above few posts did. But I didn't find any other thread where this post of mine would seem suitable. Hence posting here.

These are just musings. Not directed at anyone particular. Nor do they serve any particular purpose.

A couple of days back I saw 2-3 posts saying "Gave CAT in 2005 without preparation. Hence got so and so. Gave CAT again without preparation..." My first thoughts on reading the posts were, whats the point of writing such things? What does the person want to say? Does he want to say that, if he had prepared he would have got 99.99%ile. These are plain excuses. Does it matter if you gave CAT with preparation or not? The bottom line is that you didn't score. Why did you give CAT in the first place in that case? Then again, to whom are you giving the excuses to? The only person who is affected is you yourself. You are the one who's not gonna get into a good college just because "you gave it without preparation". Rather than saying "Its ok I got less because I didn't prepare this time" or "Its ok I didnt score since it was my first attempt", recognize that you went wrong somewhere and then try to rectify the mistake. Excuses only give us a false temporary sense of comfort. Better not go that way.


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